Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Acculturation - groups remain distinct

Acculturation is the exchange of cultural features that results when groups come into continuous firsthand contact; the original cultural patterns of either or both groups may be altered, but the groups remain distinct. (Kottak 2007)

Beginning perhaps with Child (1943) and Lewin (1948), acculturation began to be conceived as the strategic reaction of the minority to continuous contact with the dominant group. See Rudmin's 2003 tabulation of acculturation theories.[1]Thus, there are several options the minority can choose, each with different motivations and different consequences. These options include assimilation to the majority culture, a defensive assertion of the minority culture, a bicultural blending of the two cultures, a bicultural alternation between cultures depending on contexts, or a diminishment of both cultures. Following Berry's (1980; 2003) terminology, four major options or strategies are now commonly called assimilation, separation, integration, and marginalization.

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